Frank Gosar and Off-Center Ceramics
Show: Viz City
Subject: Frank Gosar and Off-Center Ceramics. His website is http://www.offcenter.biz/
Date of Interview: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Date of Broadcast: Wed. April 5, 2017
Script: Sandy Brown Jensen
Sound: Terry Way
The pink cherry trees lean over the yellow walls of Maude Kerns Art Center. To learn more about what it takes to become a professional potter, we walked around behind the beautiful old church and found Club Mud, a ceramics cooperative. Stopping in the door, we heard a sound like someone falling in a mud puddle.
<<ambi: sloshing glaze pot>>
Welcome to Frank Gosar’s world, and welcome to Viz City, KLCC’s art review program.
<<GOSAR: .016--.33>> Welcome to Club Mud. This is actually half of my studio. I have a home studio--I do all my throwing and trimming up to the bisque firing at home, and then after four weeks of that, I come down here for an intensive week of glazing, at the end of which I will have enough pottery to fill a fifty cubic foot gas kiln.
NARRATOR: Frank says his first experience with ceramics involved rolling marbles from the red clay soil of his family’s Wisconsin farm when he was five years old. Attempts to bake them in the wood stove were not notably successful. As an undergraduate, he tried many art forms:
<<GOSAR: 1:37--1:42>> Pottery was the only one where the process was as much fun as the product.
NARRATOR: Frank came out to Oregon to pursue his master’s degree and, like many of us, looked around for work. He found it:
<<GOSAR:2:24--2:36>> In the meantime, I did some production pottery for another studio--nine dozen hummingbird feeders a week. At one point, 240 spoon rests a week, which is why I’m never going to make another spoon rest EVER!
NARRATOR: Frank and his wife Denise started Off-Center Ceramics in 1993, selling their own work at the Eugene Saturday Market, which just opened April 1. Their original product line included cow and cat mugs, pig and elephant banks, pie plates, a few vases, and baking dishes. Since then they've diversified, with well over a hundred items and patterns.
<<GOSAR: 3:30--I have been at Saturday Market ever since. And fairly early on, I discovered I couldn’t make a living just at Saturday Market, so I started applying for out of town shows. These days I do between four and eight out of town shows a year.>>
You can connect to the Oregon Potters Association Ceramic Showcase here (clickety click!).
NARRATOR: Frank is so passionate about his love of pottery that we asked him what his favorite part of the process is:
<<GOSAR: 4:20-- >> There are so many. The thing is, anyone who has ever seen someone sit down at the potter’s wheel thinks that it looks magical and fun, and it really is! I have always been the kid in my family who could draw, so being able to draw on my pottery is also magical and fun. I mean, trimming, and loading and unloading kilns are, well, probably the only unfun part of the process, and with the glaze kiln, even unloading is fun because it’s like opening all of your Christmas presents at once.
NARRATOR: You can see Frank Gosar’s Christmas presents--and even buy some early ones for yourself--every week at the Eugene Saturday Market. Look for Off-Center Ceramics and Frank’s big smile.
This has been Viz City, co-produced by Sandy Brown Jensen and Terry Way.